LEXINGTON, Va. — The Washington and Lee baseball team scored five runs in the second inning on its way to securing a 7-6 upset over top-ranked SUNY Cortland on Friday at Cap'n Dick Smith Field.
The Generals (5-3) held a 1-0 lead after the first. Senior right fielder Robey Smalley (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Tuscaloosa Academy) doubled to right to lead off the second, and then sophomore designated hitter Bryce Burnette (Hurt, Va./Gretna) hit a soaring fly ball to right field that fell in at the base of wall. Burnette ended up at second with a double, and Smalley came around to score to push the lead to 2-0.
Following a pitching change and a strikeout, senior second baseman Austin Crane (Darien, Conn./Fairfield College Prep) reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to put runners on second and third. First-year third baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) laced a two-run single up the middle to extend the lead to 4-0.
Sophomore center fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) walked to give the Blue and White runners on first and second. Junior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School) then hit a sharp ground ball to short, which sophomore Wyatt Myers fielded cleanly. He stepped on second for the second out, but his throw to get Feeley at first was low and went under the glove of the first baseman. Volpicelli came home to score on the misplay.
Feeley then stole second to move into scoring position, and junior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) brought him home with a double over the center fielder's head to increase the Generals' lead to 6-0.
Each team scored one run over the next four innings, as W&L held a 7-1 advantage through six. The Red Dragons (2-1) notched one run in the seventh and two in the eighth to trim the deficit to 7-4 entering the final frame.
With W&L junior closer Danny Devereux (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) on the mound, Cortland loaded the bases with no outs to start the ninth. Devereux then induced a grounder right in front of the plate, which he turned in to a 1-2-3 double play.
Senior first baseman Patrick Schetter followed with a two-run double to right to bring the Red Dragons to within one (7-6) with two outs. Senior catcher Justin Teague was the next batter, and he hit a sharp grounder to short. Feeley initially bobbled the ball, but he quickly recovered and delivered a strike to first to register the final out.
First-year starter Peyton McCann (Midlothian, Va./James River) stymied the Cortland offense through 5.0 innings to earn his first collegiate victory (1-1). He gave up one unearned run on just three hits with four strikeouts. Devereux threw the final 4.0 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits to notch his third save of the season.
Junior pitcher Jake Casey (0-1) suffered the loss for the Red Dragons. He pitched just 1.0 inning, giving up three runs on four hits.
Volpicelli went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs to lead the Blue and White. Monson was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and first-year left fielder Matt Whitely (Salem, Va./Hidden Valley) went 2-for-4 with a double and one run scored.
This marks the second straight season W&L has upset the top-ranked team in the country. The Blue and White defeated Shenandoah, 3-1, on April 5, 2017, when the Hornets were the No. 1 ranked team.
The Generals return to action on Saturday, when they host Cortland for a doubleheader starting at 11:00 am. The Red Dragons play at Roanoke later on Friday at 6:30 pm before returning to Lexington for the twin bill.
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